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More than 60 per cent of troubled families "turned around"

PUBLISHED: 13:07 20 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:07 20 January 2015

Troubled families are being helped turn their lives around

Troubled families are being helped turn their lives around

Archant

More than 60 per cent of troubled families in the borough have had their lives "turned around" thanks to a government scheme.

The three-year project, launched in 2011, involves one council team working with each family to address issues holistically, instead of multiple services targeting individual needs.

Its focus includes families with serious issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, crime and antisocial behaviour and mental health problems – and those receiving work-related benefits.

Just over 61 per cent of the 985 families targeted in the borough have now been “turned around”, the government says, putting it under both the London average (66.1pc) and national average (72.4pc).

“Turning around” could mean that family members have either found continuous employment or started attending school regularly.

Councillor Quintin Peppiatt, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “These families often have complex needs and the support we provide also aims to understand the problems within the family, improve behaviour and attainment at school and identify support around mental health issues and safeguarding children.

“We know that our approach improves outcomes not only for the individual families but also for the wider community and we will continue to build on this to ensure we support more families who need it to improve their life chances and achieve their potential.”

Neighbouring boroughs have had varied success in the scheme. Redbridge and Havering turned around 77.6 pc of its 550 and 415 troubled families respectively, while Barking and Dagenham turned around 79.1pc of 645.

The project is set to be expanded to help a further 400,000 troubled families after the General Election.

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